The people of Mosul believe that the necessary security measures have been taken to ensure that any threats from terrorists do not affect the electoral process.
As Iraqis prepare for the chance to vote in the upcoming elections, senior ISIS leaders have issued threats saying that they will disrupt the elections and attack those going to vote. Abu Hasan al-Muhajir, a senior ISIS leader, released a statement vowing to target political candidates in the elections. This has resulted in a number of assassination attempts on key political figures in recent weeks.
However, in Mosul, the city that was occupied by the group for three years, residents are determined to defy those threats and participate in the elections. “Mosul and its residents will elect and they won’t fear any threats. With the help of the security forces, we will pass these things, and God willing, Mosul will safely elect its representatives,” said one resident, hoping to see her city move on from the tyranny and destruction caused by ISIS.
In the last two weeks, there have been 10 assassination attempts on political candidates across the country, with security forces fearing that ballot boxes may come under attack during the elections, which are due to be held on the 12th May. While not all of these assassination attempts have been committed by ISIS, the security forces are on high alert to prevent further incidences.
However, security forces are hopeful and confident that these elections will run smoothly. ISIS core leadership and presence in the country has been decimated and Iraq‘s growing security and intelligence capabilities have made it harder for the group to sustain a meaningful insurgency. Iraqi security officials in Mosul say that a comprehensive plan has been put in place across all of Nineveh to ensure the safety of all the voters participating in the elections.
Electoral participation in the newly liberated provinces of Iraq including Nineveh, Anbar and Salahuddin is due to be high, reflecting the enthusiasm of many to have their voices heard after years of isolation because of ISIS occupation.